Project Second Chance curriculum
Training will always be based on humane and positive-reward methods. The results will be a companion ready and eager to work with you and much less stress. Raising and training a shelter dog requires time and skill. Adolescent or adult dogs are selected, primarily because the temperament is well established. The key is making a good selection. Behaviors we want to reinforce will be rewarded with a treat or a favorite toy.
See the list below for our different levels of training.
First Level Red
- Accepting a Friendly Stranger: The dog, free of aggression, will allow a stranger to approach, in a natural, everyday situation.
- Sitting Politely for Petting: The dog will allow a friendly stranger to touch it while it is out with its handler. The dog must show no shyness or resentment, all four feet should be on the floor.
- Appearance and Grooming: The dog will tolerate a complete assessment, tip of nose to tip of tail, tolerate a comb and its collar being handled, and allow light brushing with each foot being handled, as well as an ear inspection.
Second Level White
- While out for a walk, the dog will step off with handler, to either the handler's left or right side (preferably left), and not pull or struggle on leash.
- Walking through a crowd: The dog can move politely in pedestrian traffic, and will walk willingly close to other people. The dog may show interest without being shy or jumping.
- Sit or Down: Train the dog to sit on command. This behavior needs to become second nature. The dog must always be in a sit (wait) before crossing thresholds, doors, etc.
- Coming When Called: The dog will come when called by handler.
- Reaction to Another Dog: The dog can behave politely around other dogs. Dogs should show no more than a casual interest around other dogs.
Third Level Blue
- Reaction to Distractions: The dog is confident when faced with common distractions, and may show interest, but not panic, while around medical equipment, wheelchairs, etc.
- Supervised Separation: The dog can be left with a trusted person and will maintain good manners while its primary is out of sight.
- Leave It: The dog will leave items on your command, not take an item without looking to handler. The dog will also willingly "give" a toy or an item in its mouth to its handler.